Superintendent Alberto Carvalho brought the gospel of the Miami-Dade school district to Congress Wednesday, trumpeting his efforts to turn around long-struggling schools as a national model and urging lawmakers to revamp how the federal government measures student success.
Carvalho testified before a committee on revising the No Child Left Behind law, which requires students to meet certain academic performance standards or risk sanctions — including being shut down.
Earlier this year, two Miami senior high schools, Central and Edison, faced closure in part because they fell short on the law’s requirements. The state ultimately sided with the district and agreed to keep the schools open.
On Wednesday, Carvalho told the House Committee on Education and the Workforce that he has shuttered schools he considered “dropout factories.”
“Sometimes closing a school is legitimate,” he said.
Though Carvalho, a former school district lobbyist, once testified in a congressional hearing on child nutrition programs, his first appearance on Capitol Hill as superintendent raised his profile as Miami-Dade has received recent accolades. Next week, the district is one of four finalists — along with Broward — for the Broad Prize, considered the top award in urban education.
Carvalho received a warm welcome from Republicans and Democrats on the panel. A handful of members of Congress came up to the superintendent after the hearing to express their thanks and admiration. Several staffers suggested Carvalho seek a job with the committee or a federal education appointment. More here.